portable air compressor recomendations


Hi Folks, I'm getting ready to pick up a portable air compressor - mostly for shop use, but also fo the occasional site work. Mostly used for a coupla pin/nail guns, a jitterbug sander and (hopefully) for spraying finish. Any recomendations for a decent unit?
thanks -_JD
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If you use the words "jitterbug sander" you just raised the air requirement to 9 cfm at 90 psi. That compressor just became a lot less portable, bordering on trailer-mounted. The portable compressors that I use are 4 cfm at 90 psi, 4 gallon tank and weigh about 60 pounds. Hitachi and Rol-Air brands.

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Portable and jitterbug sander don't go together all that well. Same for spraying finish. I've got a 15 gallon 1.7HP and it can't run either of those for more than a few minutes with out cooking the motor.

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have to agree with everyone here. I had a portable compressor in my shop which worked well but that was not designed to run air tools. Air Tools will kill a little compressor. So I leave the small compressor for portable work and got a larger one that just sits in the shop.

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You need to be a bit more specific here. Not all Air Tools will kill a small compressor. Typically Automotive air tools will work a small compressor too hard but nail guns which are air tools work very well with small compressors.
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Correctemundo. It all comes down to CFM requirements and to make an educated choice one should first learn the requirements of the tools one expects to use and then buy a compressor greater than those requirements. Since these are guys toys we are talking about, a lot more would be a good starting point.
--

-Mike-
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jd wrote:

HI JD, I'm not familiar with the jitterbug sander or the spraying finish but as for the nail gun usage...I just put a Porter Cable, 135 psi, 2hp, 6 gallon pancake style compressor thru it's paces two weeks ago on a little building project. We put together a 15x15 cabin in the wonderful mountains of PA. I was using a framing nailer and roofing nailer for three days and the compressor never missed a beat. I can't testify for long term usage under these conditions, but it didn't have any problem keeping up with constant nailing going on all day.
Just my limited experience... Good luck.
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As stated by the other 2 posters, the air sander is not to be considered for use with a portable. Add to that air drills, impact wrenches, air ratchets and most spray guns. The portables are good for most any nail gun except palm nailers, airing up tires, and blowing dust from small surfaces.
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Leon wrote:

I was able to use the popular porter cable pancake compressor to run an impact wrench. It had to refill after about every 3 lug nuts. So it was usable, but obviously not ideal.
Another thing that a lot of people told me I couldn't do was use a full sized framing nailer with the little PC. It did just fine, refilling after every 10 foot wall section. Underpowered, but definitly usable.
Now I have an 80 gallon, 7.5hp PC also. :-) ... best of both worlds.
brian
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More information would help. Will you have electricity available or does it have to be gas powered?
Most any unit will take the nail guns, but the sander is going to require a much larger unit. Check the requirement of the tool you have in mind.
By portable, do you mean carry it into the room where you will be working, or do you mean run it from the back of the pickup?
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If you want to use a spray gun larger than an airbrush or critter, the compressor will not be what I would call portable, though there are some wheeled units that can be lifted into the back of a pickup truck by 2 (or more) people or rolled up a ramp.
I have a pretty old compressor I bought used, but if I was going to buy a new one I'd check out some of the Harbor Freight units. Their brad nailers are hard to beat on price and work well also.
If the thought of a HF compressor is too worrisome, any of the small paancakes or hotdog compressors from PC, Dewalt/Emglo, etc. will run a brad nailer. Sometimes Sears has a decent unit on sale. Look for oil lube. Generally is much quiter than oiless and longevity is better. If noise is important to you, see if you can run it before buying.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Sounds like I'mlooking at the wrong solution. The main use wil be for sanding and spraying finish, so it sounds like the portable compressors are just going to be too small.... I kinda suspected that might be the case, but was hoping.... Guess its time to look at the bigger units...
thanks to everyone that replied..
-_JD

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jd wrote: > Sounds like I'mlooking at the wrong solution. The main use wil be for > sanding and spraying finish, so it sounds like the portable compressors are > just going to be too small....
Been to the movie.
Buy a 5HP, 2 stage compressor mounted on top of an 80 gal vertical receiver tank.
You will have enough air to drive a jitterbug and also do a decent spray job.
Anything smaller is marginal.
Lew
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